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Psychology Department Receives Anonymous Gift

07/01/2021

Saint Louis University has announced that an anonymous donor has made a gift of $100,000 in support of the Department of Psychology and Accelerating Excellence: The Campaign for Saint Louis University.

The generous gift will be used to establish an endowed fund that supports graduate students’ research in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and is designed to help the department recruit more graduate students interested in this area of research. Two to three awards per year are anticipated, and priority will be given to research connected with the certificate in enhanced multicultural competency for psychology and to research that addresses issues of intersectionality and marginalized groups, as well as research associated with the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity.

The donor’s longstanding interest in DEI motivated the gift, which was made with the aim of enhancing DEI research in the department, as it is often difficult to receive funding from external sources for such research topics.

“The psychology faculty and graduate students are forever grateful for this generous financial gift, said Jeffrey Gfeller, Ph.D., chair of the Psychology Department. “This DEI research fund will support graduate research projects that examine factors and actions that constrain and facilitate more diverse and inclusive environments among individuals, groups and organizations.

Creating such applied knowledge is a major aim of our departmental mission and that of Saint Louis University. Again, we thank our generous benefactor and will strive to use the funds to foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world for all.”

One member of the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and one faculty member from the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity will oversee the administration of the new research fund.

The Department of Psychology has housed a Diversity and Inclusion Committee since 1990; faculty members from all programs in the department serve on the committee. It was created with the intention of understanding and appreciating individual differences and human diversity in all its forms, encouraging inclusiveness and respect in the work the department performs.

The committee provides support and guidance for the department's inclusion and diversity mission by hosting activities and speakers each year and providing resources for teaching and research to faculty. It works to enhance the integration of diversity and inclusion discourse into the curriculum and provides training to provide students and faculty with relevant knowledge and experience about cultural and individual diversity as they relate to the field of psychology.

Additionally, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee provides guidance and resources to faculty, students and staff when diversity and inclusion questions or concerns arise related to the learning environment in the department or the recruitment and retention of faculty and students.